North Korea says cooperation with Russia 'natural' for neighbours -KCNA
North Korea on Monday slammed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for criticising its cooperation with Moscow following leader Kim Jong Un's Russia visit, saying it is "natural" and "normal" for neighbours to keep close relations.
- South Korea
North Korea on Monday slammed South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for criticising its cooperation with Moscow following leader Kim Jong Un's Russia visit, saying it is "natural" and "normal" for neighbours to keep close relations. Yoon, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly last week, said that if Russia helped North Korea enhance its weapons programmes in return for assistance for its war in Ukraine, it would be "a direct provocation."
In a piece carried by KCNA news agency, the North denounced Yoon for "malignantly" slandering its friendly cooperation with Russia, and said Yoon was serving as a "loudspeaker" for the United States. "It is quite natural and normal for neighbouring countries to keep close relations with each other, and there is no reason to call such practice to account," it said.
Kim returned home last week from a week-long trip to Russia in which he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to boost military and economic cooperation. U.S. and South Korean officials have expressed concern that Russia could be trying to acquire ammunition from the North to supplement its dwindling stocks for the war in Ukraine while Pyongyang seeks technological help for its nuclear and missile programmes.
Any activities assisting North Korea's weapons programmes are banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions. "The foreign policy of the DPRK ... will not be tied to anything, and its friendly and cooperative relations with the close neighbours will continue to grow stronger," the commentary said. DPRK is the initials of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
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